Listened What future Antarctica? from Radio National

It’s a golden time for Antarctic research, with more and more countries taking a direct interest in the great southern continent. But suspicions abound as to the real motivations of key Antarctic players.

Antony Funnell leads an investigation of the future of Antarctica, including the positioning of different countries in relation to 2048 when the current treaty to protect the continent expires. The feature investigates the geopolitics associated with military, research and resources. This also includes the place of the surrounding nations as launching points for this activity. I remember teaching about the resources associated with Antarctica in Geography, but what I feel was missed in hindsight was why it matters, especially as the world progressively warms up. Discussing the Arctic, Dahr Jamail explains how the degredation of such spaces impact us all. This is also something James Bridle discusses in his book the New Dark Age.
Liked The bones that could shape Antarctica’s fate by an author (

Archaeological discoveries can also boost political support for a case back home. “When remains or objects are found in the ice, I could see straight away it would inflate territorial nationalism,” says Dodds. “Archaeology has always been really important for national politics.”

Other events, such as historic shipwrecks, could play a similar role as the Yamana skull. In 1819, the Spanish frigate San Telmo was wrecked in the Drake Passage, which separates the tip of Chile from the Antarctic Peninsula. Archaeologists have searched the Antarctic islands for signs of whether any crew made it alive to the shore.

Liked An Ultra-High Resolution Map of Antarctica (

Using years of satellite data and photography, researchers have constructed an extremely detailed terrain map called the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica that maps 98% of the continent down to a resolution of 8 meters. That makes it the most detailed terrain map of any continent.